We are very proud of our newest and very innovative program for individuals with developmental disabilities, Goodwill at HorseAbility. Through work with horses, these individuals are finding ways to improve their quality of life by learning new skills and a trade.

To encourage their love to work with horses and animals in general, staff has instituted some rewards.

Brendan and Prada

Last month, during March, Developmental Disabilities Awareness month, participants were honored with a new reward called “recognition time.” Participants who made exceptional efforts to work towards their individual goals were awarded extra time to spend with a horse of their choice. Every Friday, staff names the week’s Recognition time recipients.

In other program news, Alix Sugarman, program supervisor, joined 400+ professionals from around the world at the 15th Annual EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) Conference in Mesquite, Texas. The annual conference provided a great opportunity for networking and education in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and learning workshops were held in a horse arena for hands-on demonstrations and in a conference center for classroom seminars.


Founded in 1999, EAGALA is a nonprofit professional association whose vision is that every person worldwide will have access to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning services. EAGALA uses horses in an experiential format. EAGALA program participants learn about themselves and others by participating in hands-on activities with horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. Like in Goodwill’s program at HorseAbility, there is no horseback riding involved in EAGALA’s programs.

Goodwill’s Long Island Day Habilitation program is hoping to incorporate more Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) using the EAGALA model. Equine Assisted Learning may be effective in helping participants reach their goals.

For more information about Goodwill at HorseAbility in Day Habilitation, please contact Alix Sugarman at (917) 769-4387 or asugarman@goodwillny.org.

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